Stickle Quilt, 1863
This sampler of heroic proportions has an unusual pieced and scalloped border, and is made up of 169 five-inch blocks, each differing in pattern, containing a total of 5,602 pieces. Although little is known of the maker, Jane A Stickle, her burial is noted in records of the Center Shaftsbury Cemetery. From the 1863 date of the quilt, we know it was made during the Civil War, and Jane Stickle was 46 years old when it was completed.
Quilting first originated in Europe but quickly became popular during the Colonial period and represents a craft technique that has remained virtually unchanged over time. Although there is great variety in the actual surface decoration, the construction of most quilts is the same and essentially involves stitching together two layers of material, cut to size, usually with a filler in between the layers to provide extra warmth.
Patchwork quilts are among the most decorative and picturesque quilts that were made during the 19th century in America. They represent not only the artistic expression of the women who made them but also their delight in color, their skill at needlework and the pride they took in mastering the intricacies as well as the difficulty of the craft. The extraordinary variety found in this quilt makes it of particular importance as does its documentation to a specific event and time in history.
The Stickle quilt is displayed for six weeks each year sometime during the months of September and October in the Rotating Textile Study Area. Call ahead or visit Changing Exhibitions page.